The Shop & The Social Club

Most people would stay wrapped in a blanket and order in on a bone-chilling night. I am not one of those people. It was -7 with the wind chill, packed snow and ice covered the sidewalks, and I was thankful for heated seats as I ventured out of the house to Troy.

A split second decision to cross The Shop off my foodie bucket list meant that I was searching for an available reservation online at the last minute, desperately refreshing their Yelp page. Anything to avoid making an actual phone call.
Reservation-less, I hoped for the best as I approached the hostess stand. A 45-minute wait for a table would normally send me on my way, but instead of heading for a backup plan, we got on the list and went around the corner for a brew at Rare Form Brewing Company.

At the bar I sipped on the sexy beats IPA from a wine glass, and although chugging an IPA is never an ideal situation, that’s exactly what I did. Our 45-minute wait turned out to be only 20 minutes and before I was even close to finishing my beer, the “table is ready” text came through. So we tossed them back and headed to dinner.
Wooden tables and white lights gave The Shop a comfortable, cabin feel, but orders taken on iPads and an eclectic menu, complete with vegan and gluten free options, reminded you that this was still a trendy Troy spot. Sipping on the evening’s specialty cocktails, we dove into a skillet of tex-mex poutine. A bit different from the poutine I tried in Toronto, this appetizer was something I never knew I needed in my life. Sweet potato fries, melted cheddar curd, cerveza braised pork, and salsa picante was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy to start the evening.
I don’t know what inspired me to order a sloppy joe for dinner, but that’s exactly what I did. An overflowing plate complete with chopped burger, jalapeno, and caramelized onion it was certainly not meant to be eaten by hand. The true star of the meal however was the burnt cheddar cheese that took this sloppy joe to another level. Meanwhile, across the table my boyfriend was shells deep in a big bowl of spicy chorizo and sweet corn mussels. Don’t tell him, but I stole a few of his shoestring fries.

As a little after dinner treat, we moved our party of 2 down the street and around the corner to the newly opened Franklin Alley Social Club. Down Franklin Street, literally in an alley that runs off Broadway, the Social Club is marked only with a flag waving above the door. Down the stairs, the doors open into a bright bar complete with arcade games, shuffle board, and a bocce court. A refurbished bowling alley, the Franklin Alley Social Club brings a combination of wholesome fun with cocktails. We didn’t play any shuffleboard, but we did make it to level 2 on the BurgerTime arcade game while sipping on a strong margarita.
The freezing weather makes it hard to want to do anything more than lay on the couch, cuddled under the warmest of blankets. But the weekend only comes once every 5 days, so there’s no time to waste. This story might have been different if my experience wasn’t so good, but The Shop was great and completely worth facing the windchill.
Would you ever order sweet potato poutine? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram

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